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lightbulb differences, PAR30, BR30, R30, etc

flea 5,480 2,435 September 15, 2007 at 03:00 PM
What are the differences between those (PAR30, PAR38, BR30, R30, and possibly others that I don't know about) light standards. I currently have recessed lighting and (I think) BR30 light bulbs in hallways and common areas. I have PAR30L's in kitchens and bathrooms. It looks like it uses the standard E26 socket. How viable is putting CFL's in there? I've read that CFL's shouldn't be put in enclosed areas such as recessed lighting. Is it still a problem with modern CFL's? I don't want to spend $15/bulb and have it die in 6 months. Can I put R30 CFL's in the same sockets as the BR30 and PAR30L's and have the same (or similar) lighting conditions? Thanks for the reples.
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PAR : Short for Parabolic Aluminised Reflector lamp. A lamp containing a filament, reflector and lens in one sealed unit. Used in Parcans to produce a high intensity narrow beam of light. Par lamps are available in many different sizes and powers. Par sizes available include 16, 36, 38, 56 and 64. (The number refers to the diameter of the lens, in eighths of an inch). The most common for theatre use are Par 64s rated at 1000W (1kW), although other wattages are available.

How to read bulb shape codes. The letter designations for each incandescent bulb category indicate the industry code for bulb shape. For example a "BR" bulb indicates a "bulged reflector" shape. The number after the shape code indicates the maximum bulb width in 1/8". A "BR30" bulb has a maximum width of 30 x 1/8" or 3.75".

Using a CFL in a recessed fixture, as it will be inefficient for the amount of light it emits. With a CFL you want as much area exposed as possible, for good emission of light. CFL's are more efficient than incandescents because they emit more of their light in the visable spectrum, whereas incandescents emit a good chunk of their energy in the infrared spectrum. That does not mean that their light is not generating quite a bit of thermal radiation (not in the mood to get in a physics discussion with Aluvus right now, which is why I did not use the term heat), though.
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Last edited by JackHandey September 15, 2007 at 05:37 PM.
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Original Poster
Thanks. I don't plan on using standard CFL's in recessed cans. They do make PAR30 and BR30 CFL's []. How reliable are they when used in cans?
What about the R type? What's the difference with them and the BR type?
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Looking at the shapes, from my second link, It would appear that the "R" types would have the narrowest light dispersal. The BAR looks like it would have the widest, and the PAR would fall somewhere in betweent... I would not leave these of for extended periods of time, particularly if they are not dimmed. CFL's can get pretty hot in their own right, so I am not sure how safe it would be. Personally, I would only use these lights in a an application like in a room that was dedicated to home theater and was going to spend most of its life dimmed anyway.
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